Bryan Bellaire of Iowa State University in the U.S. will improve the safety and efficacy of therapies for treating filarial diseases caused by parasitic nematodes (worms), which are common in developing countries. Current drugs targeting the parasites are becoming ineffective due to the development of resistance, and antibiotics targeting their resident endosymbiont bacteria Wolbachia, which is essential for parasite survival, require multiple dosing regimens that are hard to maintain. He will develop amphiphilic polyanhydride (AmPa) nanoparticles to encapsulate both the antibiotic doxycycline together with anti-parasitic drugs to form a stable, and more effective single dose therapeutic with slow drug release that is directed through the same organ system as the parasites. This will be tested for efficacy in infected rodent models with the aim of nearing pilot studies in humans.
More information about New Approaches in Model Systems, Diagnostics, and Drugs for Specific Neglected Tropical Diseases (Round 10)